Most people know that eating a healthy diet is important. They also know that exercise is important. But the problem is that more people than not believe they can do one or the other and reach their fitness goals.
It’s true that you need exercise to build your muscles and stamina but if you don’t eat right at the same time, you’re just not going to see the changes that you’re seeking. There’s a scientific reason that you have to use a combination of both to get where your body the way that you want it to be.
Without the right kind of nutrients and vitamins like are found in healthy eating, your body won’t have the amount of energy it needs. Your muscles will experience a deficiency because they need those nutrients, too.
Muscles also need protein to function, to be able to repair micro-tears and to strengthen. Using one habit such as healthy eating without the other won’t give you any improvement.
So if you make sure you eat plenty of protein because you’re trying to help your muscles, you’re wasting your effort. Your muscles must have the exercise. Combining healthy eating and exercise is like yin and yang.
They just belong together. Try eating your meals in whatever amounts that you want to consume and skip exercising. You’ll quickly notice that your clothes are feeling a lot tighter.
Your waistline will grow, and your energy will lag. You may have even heard the saying, “You can’t out-exercise an unhealthy diet” and it’s true. You have to exercise in addition to watching what you eat.
It’s important that you consume carbs. This is energy for your body. When you eat carbs, your body turns them into fuel that gives your body the energy that it must have. You need carbs every day and even more so on workout days.
You also need to make sure that you have healthy fats in your daily meals and you should never try to go on a low protein diet when you’re trying to get fit because that’s a building block for the muscles.
If you have extra weight, you want to structure your eating so that you’re not consuming more calories than your body needs. When you exercise, you need to make sure that you take into account the number of calories that you burn.
Get the right amount of carbs for your lifestyle. Eating too few carbs is just as bad as eating too many of them. When you find the right balance of healthy eating and exercise, you will see the difference.
There have been numerous studies that show exercise or dieting alone is simply not enough. When you combine the two, research has shown that people who combine both strategies lose the most weight.
But you’ll also tone up your body as you’re doing so. Not only will this help you to build muscle, but it can make a difference in problem areas of your body such as tightening up stomach pooch.
In addition to that, when you exercise in addition to eating healthy, you’re shaping as you lose. This means if you have a lot of excess weight to lose, you’re less likely to deal with a lot of loose skin like you would if you just consumed a healthy diet but didn’t work out.
Even exercising faithfully such as working five days a week isn’t enough to reach your fitness goals if you don’t eat healthy. By using both diet and exercise, you can significantly lower your odds of developing heart related health issues.
You can also lower your glucose readings and your A1c if you happen to be diabetic.
Together, these good habits can also lower your cholesterol and your blood pressure but one or the other alone, is usually not enough to make a notable difference in these areas of your health.
Choosing just one of these – diet or exercise – doesn’t work because it does more than create an imbalance. It can negatively affect your metabolism. Your metabolism needs both a healthy diet and exercise.
That healthy diet should consist of only the calories that you’re actually going to need. But most people eat far more than their body could ever use. So they then treat exercise like a cure for over-eating.
They hit the gym and try to exercise off all those extra calories that they consumed by exercising harder and longer. But then when they’re finished with their workout, they feel like they’re starving.
Thinking that they surely must have burned off all the calories they ate, they go and eat again. So it becomes a circle of eating whatever they want and then thinking that exercise is going to save them from gaining weight or health problems.
It doesn’t, because the majority of people guess the number of calories that they burn during working out at a far higher number than what they actually did use up. So they gain weight or at the least don’t lose and then convince themselves that they just can’t get their body into the shape they want it to be.
The key is to stop treating exercise like it can save you from your overeating. Instead, treat exercise as a tool that works hand in hand with a healthy, calorie appropriate diet. It can’t be use to cancel out bad habits.
If you’re someone who’s had a pretty sedentary life, you can start slow with both nutrition and exercise to create a balance right from the beginning. Do something simple such as cutting out processed foods or switching from a high fat dairy to low fat.
Simple changes can cut calories, give you healthier choices and give you the motivation that you need. Maybe you’re at the point where you weight enough that exercising is painful for you.
You find it difficult to do routines. Then just start walking if you can’t physically do anything else. Walk a block. Then around the neighborhood, then farther and farther until you’re increasing the distance.
Even small changes, done consistently, do make a difference and can help you reach goals in the long run. Remember that you don’t have to race the clock. You can move forward at your own pace and you will make changes.
There are some things that you can do to help make sure you balance both diet and exercise. You can write down what you eat. Every bite that you put in your mouth. By logging your food, it makes you be honest with yourself and lets you see at a glance how much protein, fats and carbs you’ve eaten.
An easy diet change that you make to see fitness results is to stop eating out since you get a lot of high carb, high calorie meals when dining out. Cook at home and save your food in advance. This does two things.
First, it helps to have something on hand to eat when you’re hungry. People blow off a healthy dieting program when they’re hungry. Plus, when you have nutritional snacks already washed, peeled and stored in the refrigerator, you’re less likely to graze on unhealthy choices.
Secondly, you’re not going to get the same high carb, high calorie load at home when you choose your meal ingredients yourself and make your food at home. If you know that you have struggles with emotional eating, get help.
Make the necessary behavioral changes so that when you exercise, you don’t blow the good you gain there by binge eating to soothe emotion. Don’t let yourself have all or nothing thoughts.
Stop aiming for perfection. Strive to eat right and exercise 80% of the time and don’t try to meet unrealistic goals. Watch how you view healthy eating and exercise. Make sure you understand what it truly is.
Some people view diet and exercise as a measure to get fit and that’s it. They think once they reach their target heart rate or weight or they’ve accomplished an event, they’re finished for good.
But that mindset can prevent you from keeping fit long term. You’ll be more likely to gain back the weight, get out of shape and quit exercising. Diet and exercise do go hand in hand, but they should be viewed as a lifestyle change, as something you’re going to commit to for the rest of your life rather than something you can do and then be done with.